Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Frost Family First: Christmas Cards!

Well, I couldn't resist the lure of free Christmas cards from Shutterfly. I love the idea of sending out Christmas cards (after convincing myself that maybe I actually do have people to send them to) but never am able to or want to shell out the dough. So what ends up happening: No Christmas cards. Until this year!

Shutterfly has such a cute variety of Christmas Photo Cards that I don't know which ones I'll end up choosing. I just hope that I have a cute enough picture of the family to go with the designs...

Last Christmas, my brother-in-law and his wife made a photo wall calendar for my in-laws. It has been so fun to have up all year long. I've been wanting to make one for myself and have actually already started looking into them from Shutterfly's website. One of the options that I think is really fun is that you not only can put a reminder on the day like December 28 being "Andrew and Victoria's Anniversary" but could put a wedding picture with both of our beautiful faces on that space on the calendar!

I did do a birth announcement for Nathaniel using Shutterfly last year. They were fun to pass out and give to people. My work had it hanging on the teacher's lounge door for months. After I quit teaching and started staying home, someone in the school threw it in the garbage. A few months later, I went back to visit my 1st grade team and Lori, one of my co-workers, had dug it out of the trash and saved it because she thought it was a shame to throw a cute announcement away! The best part was sending a bit of our joy to people out on the east coast who weren't able to meet the boy. Next baby I'll be looking through the options of birth announcements again!

So anyway, I'm excited. If you want one let me know and I'll send you one because the Frost's are sending out Christmas invites compliments of Shutterfly. Thanks Shutterfly! Go check it out for yourself, but the deadline to apply is the 10th!

This is a really weird picture that does not do it justice. The spread that was actually in the Rachael Ray magazine (I know, two recipes in a row) was very pretty. This was kind of a fun dish to make, had lots of good stuff in it and was just different, which is nice sometimes.
This makes one pie pan full.
2/3 cup rice
3 Tbl olive oil
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 onion finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced (I didn't have any when I made this, so I used pieces of tomato)
2 cloves garlic, finely hopped
One 10 ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
1 store-bought rotisserie chicken cut into cubes (I used cooked shredded chicken breast that I have stored in my freezer)
9 ounces cheddar cheese (2 1/4 cups)
1. Preheat the oven to 425. In a small saucepan, combine the rice with 1 1/3 cups water. Cover and simmer over med-high heat until water is absorbed. About 16 minutes. Let cool. (I cooked rice in the rice cooker earlier that morning and saved it for when I was making this recipe for dinner!)
2. Brush the sides of a 9-in pie pan with 1 Tbl olive oil. In a medium bowl, combine the cooled rice, parmesan cheese, egg and a pinch of pepper. Using lightly oiled fingers or a rubber spatula, press the rice mixture evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Bake for 10 min. Set aside to cool.
3. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the remaining 2 Tbl olive oil over med heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook, stirring occassionally, until the vegetables are golden- 15-20 minutes. Stir in the spinach and rosemary, season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 min. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Stir in the chicken and 1 cup of cheddar cheese..
4. Lower the oven to 375. Fill the crust with the chicken-vegetable filling, leaving a 1-inch border at the top of the crust. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 1/4 cups of cheddar cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 30 minutes.

Chicken Satay Noodle Soup

Rachael Ray says that this serves 4. Thinking it really did, I decided to just make it for the 4 servings and have Andrew and I eat it once for dinner and then once for lunch the next day as left overs. We've eaten it for dinner and I've eaten it twice for lunch and there is still TONS of soup left. So my advice is that if you don't have a large crowd to feed, half this recipe for sure!
That being said, this was kind of a fun and different kind of dinner. I would definitely not forget the toppings at the end (cilantro, peanuts, green onions and lime) since I felt like they totally made the meal.
1/2 lb whole wheat pasta
2 Tbl vegetable oil
3/4 lb chicken, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbl tamari (dark soy) *I used regular soy since I didn't have any
1/4 cup Thai red curry paste
2 Tbl tomato paste
6 cups chicken broth
One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
1/2 head napa or savoy cabbage, shredded *I only had regular cabbage and it worked fine
1/2 cup apple joice
1 cup bean sprouts
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
green onions thinly sliced
1 Tbl chopped cilantro
Lime wedges
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain
2. Meanwhile, in a soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and garlic and cook, stirring until the chicken is opaque, about 5 min. Transfer to a plate.
3. Add the peanut butter, tamari, curry paste and tomato paste to the pot and stir. Increase the heat to meduium-high and whisk in the chicken broth; add the ginger. Bring to a boil, then stir in the cabbage and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Return the chicken to the pot and stir in the apple juice.
4. Divide the pasta among 4 bowls. Ladle the soup over the pasta. Top with the bean sprouts, peanuts, green onions and cilantro. serve with the lime wedges.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Broccoli Salad

So I've never actually posted on this blog...and it doesn't look like anyone else has used it for a while, but I made broccoli salad for Thanksgiving this year and Patrick and I loved it. I think other people did too so I thought I'd post it!

Sorry the picture is huge. I can't get it any smaller.

1 head broccoli
6 to 8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup raisins, optional
8 ounces sharp Cheddar, cut into very small chunks
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes

1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

I got this recipe from Paula Deen. Thanks Paula!

When I made it we actually put in more broccoli than it called for. We substituted craisins for the raisins, left out the tomatoes because my husband and I don't like them, and used less cheese than it called for. Also, we did not use all of the dressing.

When I've had this salad other places I've seen people put sunflower seeds or some kind of sliced nut (almonds maybe?) in it as well which is pretty good.